1/32 I-16 type 28
Available from Hannants for € 37,63
The I-16 was one of those designs that pushed the envelope and paved the way for new fighter designs. A closed cockpit, monoplane design, metal plating and a retractable landing gear. It’s licensed built Wright Cyclone SR-1820 9 cilinder engine (Shvetsov M-25) with it’s large diameter made the I-16 look short and stubby. This didn’t give the plane the menacing look of sleeker designs, but it proved it’s worth nonetheless. A whole series of improvements followed the first designated production type of the I-16 type 4. Most changes were made in the engine and guns / cannons. The type we’re looking at today however is the type 28. It differed from the type 24 (also released by ICM and reviewed by James Hatch here) only in armament: 2x ShKAS and 2x ShVAK. The ShKAS being a 7.62mm machine gun and the ShVAK being a 20mm cannon. The ShKAS mounted in the nose and ShVAK mounted in the wings. The major differences between the early type 10 and the late model 24 and 28 are the presence of flaps, a tailwheel instead of skid, a second cockpit door on the starboard side and the Shvetsov M-63 engine replacing the M-25 version.
The different materials used in this plane make it perfect to model ‘without paint’. We see a laminated fuselage, linen, aluminium and putty. The method of the laminated fuselage is basically the same as we saw on WW1 Albatros fuselages and even the WW2 Mosquito fuselage. Not that easy to replicate due to the angled wooden planks, but if you manage to pull it off, you’ve got a winner. I managed to find a pagethat shows the different materials.
Let me start by saying that the I-16 has been covered pretty decently before by Azur and Special Hobby. Having built the Special Hobby kit I know the detail is quite sufficient and that there are numerous detail sets to spice it up. Eduard has done various sets for the cockpit, exterior and masks which I can all recommend. You can also get yourself a Yahu Models instrument panel and HGW harnesses. Vector has done a great Shvetsov M-25 engine (which fits the type 10/17. I myself managed to get my hands on a few sets by Contact Resine (a French company) which include a thin cowling, cockpit set and wheels.
In line of order, these kits have been released of the I-16:
1997 – Azur released the I-16 Type 10
2004 – Special Hobby added new parts and released the type 10/17
2008? – Special Hobby added new parts and released the type 24
2008? – Special Hobby added new parts and released the type 10 with ski’s (Finnish service)
2011 – Special Hobby added new parts and released the type 10/17 (Chinese & Japanese service)
2017 – ICM releases a fully new tool kit of the type 24 (review by James Hatch)
2017 – Revell releases this same kit (type 24) under their brand with new decals
2018 – ICM added new parts and releases this new type 28
When you lift the box top, a full closed internal box appears, which give it a sturdy construction. Only four sprues (including the clear sprue) make up this kit. The first thing that strikes is the quality of the moldings. No flash anywhere. Really crisp moldings. Since I have an unbuilt Special Hobby I-16 in the stash, I decided to make some comparisons.
This sprue contains the fuselage halves, tail, rudder, cowling, wheels and ailerons. The tail was fabric, so we see some sagging between the ribs of the tail. Not too much. The nose / cowling had radiator louvres. I like that you get to pose these open or closed by rotating the louvre disc inside. A feature that is not present on the Special Hobby kit, where it’s always closed. Why? Because the Special Hobby kit doesn’t include an engine and this kit does! Also: this kit offers separate ailerons (and separate elevators). Also not an option in the Special Hobby kit. The I-16 had a mostly wooden fuselage. This means there are not a lot of rivets to be found. In that sense the Special Hobby and ICM fuselage don’t show a lot of discrepancies. You do however get some more detail in the ICM wheels. I also have Fabflight resin wheels which show a complete different bolt layout. Make sure you study your references before changes out the wheels. You’ll find a lot of alterations exist. The top cowling is supplied as a separate piece. This enables you to show of the guns and engine. I bought myself (and built) the Vector M-25 engine once. The Type 28 featured the M-63 engine though, so it wouldn’t be right for this version. Still, I love the detail that comes with this kit! Engine mounts are included, guns, so you’ll only have to add a few wires and scratch the fasteners of the cowling to do a decent open engine model!
Here we have the wings, more cowling parts, prop, gear, prop hub and wheelbay doors. The wheelbay doors show some more pronounced detail than the Special Hobby ones’. An interesting difference comes to light when you look at the bottom mid wing section. Delicate rivet detail on the ICNM kit versus round discs on the Special Hobby kit. The surface texture of the main wings is almost non existant on both kits. As said: a nice feature of the ICM kit is that the ailerons are provided as separate parts, enabling you to pose them up or down. The gear legs are really nice and way nicer than the Special Hobby ones’. Crisp and detailed.
Underwing surface detail:
Compared to Special Hobby:
Upper wing detail:
Compared to Special Hobby:
Sprue C and D
Wow! The Shvetsov M-63 engine. A real gem. Pretty complete right out of the box. The ShKAS guns (see my photo for reference), lovely exhaust stubs. It’s all there. When we look at the cockpit we are greeted with the same level of detail and completeness. Or aren’t we…? I’m kinda missing seatbelts here! A quite prominent and visible feature in this open cockpit. I don’t understand this, because everything else seems to be there. The instrument panel is a transparent plastic part. Transparant? Why? Decals are provided for the instruments, so this part might as well have been grey plastic. I would recommend getting the Yahu or Eduard offering for this part. Other than that the cockpit is up to par with the big brands. The windscreen is lovely. Really clear and with a nice sharp edge for the cockpit framing.
The Shvetsov M-63 engine:
Compared to my Vector M-25 engine:
And here's the real deal:
Spinner, typical for type 28:
Compared to Special Hobby:
Decals for two schemes are provided. Both rather dull to be real honest. A dark green top and flat light blue underside. Both sporting the red star and white numerals. Still, if you look at the work of Daniel Zamarbide Suarez, you might get some inspiration to turn dull green into a lively scheme! The decals look great but don’t seem to be printed by the usual suspects. Still, for a subject like this, I would recommend spraying the insignia on. But who am I?
I-16 type 28, 45thAviation Division, Southern Front, Odessa area, Late June 1941
I-16 type 28, 72nd Mixed Regiment of the Northern Fleet Aviation, August 1941
This kit is an improvement over the older Special Hobby kits. In terms of fit, detail and molding quality. The fact that it includes a full engine, lovely cockpit, guns, separate ailerons etc… very welcome. The only thing I don’t get is the omission of seatbelts. With only a few upgrades (instrument panel, seatbelts) this kit can be turned into a winner. Check out Daniel's work:
Our sincere thanks to ICM for providing this kit for review.